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Posted : 2 Oct ,2017 by   

 

 

Homeowners caught in legal battle between solar company and supplier
Posted: May 18, 2011 2:14 PM
Updated: Mar 09, 2015 9:21 PM

SUN LAKES, Ariz. - Alfreda Wilson and Louis Simmons recently refinanced their Sun Lakes home.

With the money they saved, they decided to invest in solar panels.

We're gonna take this little extra money and kinda cut our bills in the long run, she said.

They hired a Valley company called Arizona Solar Water and HVAC to do the install.

A man named Ray Baxter owns the company, and several others including Arizona Power Save.

You may remember Baxter.

He didn't want to speak with us two years ago at his Mesa office even though he'd invited us there for an interview.

We wanted to ask Baxter about a complaint from another homeowner in Sun City.

They came with a crew with no knowledge of what they were doing, Luther Abrahamson said.

Wilson said she's having trouble with Baxter now too.

It's not right! she said.

Last year, Wilson and her husband paid Baxter's company more than $16,000 to install solar panels.

But, according to court documents filed earlier this year, "Arizona Power Save has refused to pay" its supplier, Consolidated Electrical Distributors.

So, C.E.D. filed a lawsuit and placed liens on the homes of several of Baxter's customers.

It s not our fault that he didn't pay for his materials, Wilson said.

It s a situation that should never have happened, said attorney Mike Fiflis.

Some homeowners have hired Fiflis to fight the lawsuit.

Fiflis argues clients had no idea that buried in their contract was another contract which allows C.E.D. to file a mechanics lien against the project if it is not timely paid.

People were, at least in my opinion, clearly duped into doing this, Fiflis said.

3 On Your Side tried again to talk with Baxter but he's a hard man to find.

We went back to the address where we found him the first time but we were told he'd been gone for more than a year.

At another one of Baxter's business addresses -- this one in Tempe -- all we found were locked doors and word from the landlord that Baxter had broken his lease and moved out months ago.

So, where does that leave Wilson, Simmons and other homeowners who now have liens against their properties.

It's gonna take all our savings, it's gonna wipe us out, she said.

They paid their bills, so 3 On Your Side just wanted to ask Baxter if he plans on paying his.

As 3 On Your Side has been working to resolve these cases, the legal battle has also been playing out in court.

An agreement has been reached between C.E.D. and Arizona Power Save. According to the courts, Baxter must repay C.E.D. $50,000 by May 18.

Just before our report aired on May 17, Baxter finally responded to our e-mails:

"Agreement reached, payments made, liens released! APS"

3 On Your Side has been unable to confirm this, but will continue to monitor this story.

UPDATE: 3 On Your Side has confirmed Ray Baxter has not paid C.E.D. the full amount of the agreement and therefore, all liens have not been released. Baxter requested more time to pay C.E.D. He now has until June 1 at 5pm.

 

This complaint has been visited 351 times since it was published.

 


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  Oct 4, 2017 By     X
 

Attitude : Agree

Homeowners caught in crossfire between solar companies
Posted: Jun 07, 2011 9:47 PM Updated: Mar 09, 2015 9:25 PM
Sun Lakes, Ariz. - Ray Baxter is the owner of the business Alfreda Wilson and Louis Simmons hired to install solar panels on their sun lakes home.

They paid $16,000 and had the system installed last year but say because of Baxter, they could lose their home altogether.

It's not right! Alfreda said.

Earlier this year, Baxter's solar panel supplier, Consolidated Electrical Distributors, filed a lawsuit against Baxter and placed liens on the homes of nine of his customers.

The lawsuit claims Baxter's business, Arizona Power Save, has refused to pay CED for supplies.
It s not our fault that he didn't pay for his materials, Alfreda said.

So why are homeowners who paid stuck in the middle?

Because of a contract that homeowners supposedly signed which allows CED to file a mechanics lien against the project if it is not timely paid.

But Alfreda says she doesn't remember signing any such contract, and has hired attorney Mike Fiflis.

No one was told about CED at the time they were signing their contract, no one was told you re going to give a lien to the supplier, Fiflis said. People were, at least in my opinion, clearly duped into doing this.

3 On Your Side has tried to contact Ray Baxter but we're not the only ones.

A process server wants to serve Baxter with a $200,000 lawsuit accusing him of skipping out the lease at his Tempe business address.

Oh, we'll find him, the process server said. He can't run forever.

The only response 3 On Your Side has received from Baxter was a short email stating, "Agreement reached, payments made, liens released!"

We checked and according to Baxter's supplier that filed the lawsuit in the first place, no liens have been released.

That leaves homeowners like Alfreda and Louis still in limbo.

If we have to pay the $14,000, it's gonna take all our savings, it's gonna wipe us out, Alfreda said.

Baxter had until June 1, 2011 to pay the settlement agreement, $50,000, but we're told that didn't happen.

Meantime, a judge has 20 days to issue a letter of recommendation as to what should happen with Baxter s contractor's license.

UPDATE: June 9, 2011
A judge has recommended that Baxter's license be revoked unless 'the Arizona Registrar of Contractor's receives and accepts written proof that Baxter has paid $137,465.51 to CED.'

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